Thanks everyone for all the tips. I'm aware that nano has a tendency to make writing "wordy"; I've been having amusing conversations about it. For example, during a telephone call, I mentioned to Nigel, an old friend, that my nano novel was unnecessarily wordy, with too many adjectives and adverbs, he parodied me with the following:
"As she stared in fearful terror at the gun, she noticed how its straight clean angles contrasted with the beautifully curved organic lines of the predominantly art deco ornamentation of her tastefully decorated living room."
Taking show don't tell a bit too far!
Crich: didn't a similar thing happen to Tolkein when writing LOTRs? One of the main characters started out as a villager who walks into a tavern. (I heard this ages ago, but have never read the trilogy.)
ekster: that's a great way to create characters, I'll give it a try, see if it works for me.